Notting Hill, Portabello Road, Kensington Palace and Gardens
I got off the tube at Notting Hill, remembering how much I love the movie and thinking it might be a fun place to paint. I saw wonderful row houses and lots of quaint shops, plus a wonderful old church. But the first thing that grabbed my attention was a sign pointing to Portabello Market. YAY! I've wanted to go there ever since I was a kid, when I saw the movie Bedknobs and Broomsticks.
It's still a bustling outdoor market—lots of antique vendors (everything from sports equipment to china and silver), used books, vintage clothes...it's a creative person's heaven! So much to take in.
I tried on hats, tried on jewelry, flipped through books, and sniffed artisan soaps. The sidewalks and streets were so crowded I couldn't possibly stop and paint (or even sketch) but my creative juices were flowing, regardless. I covered the entire stretch of road (about 2 miles).
Then there is the food...so much beautiful food! Fruits, vegetables, breads, pastries, cheeses, sausages, seafood...and the prices are much better than the supermarkets.
And the original mushroom vendor, from which I assume the marketplace got its name: Portabella.
Also at the tube stop was a sign pointing the opposite direction toward Kensington Palace. So of course I had to go there too! I love the gilded gates. And notice there are still memorial letters and gifts honoring Diana.
Equally lovely are the gardens. I sat and ate my lunch on one of these benches.
There's a quaint carousel near the Bayswater entrance to the park.
Here's another favorite spot. (Obviously I took my time walking home.)